BEIJING, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- About 287,000 people commit suicide each year in China, accounting for 3.6 percent of the country's annual deaths, according to official statistics.
Seventy-five percent of suicide cases occur in rural areas, three times the number of suicides committed in cities, according to statistics posted on the website of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
"China's suicide rate reflects a trend that is different from other countries," said an article posted on the website.
Females are about 25 percent more likely to commit suicide than males in China, while in developed countries, male suicide rates are three times higher than female suicide rates, according to the article.
A joint survey conducted by the Chinese CDC and the Beijing-based Huilongguan Hospital ranks suicide as China's fifth leading cause of death overall and the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 34.
About two million Chinese citizens attempt suicide each year, a figure which has increased by 60 percent over the past 50 years, according to the CDC.
The high-profile suicides of government officials and business tycoons have aroused public attention in recent years. At least eight government officials at various levels succeeded in committing suicide last year.
One of this year's most prominent cases was the death of Zhang Haizhong, director of Hanshan District of the city of Handan in north China's Hebei Province. Zhang was found dead in his office on July 10; his death was investigated and ruled as a suicide.